2 Methods: Create an Exclude Filter | Filter Language Spam in Google Analytics

What is lifehacĸer.com?

Don’t be alarmed to see unusual lifehacĸer.com referral traffic mixed in with your website’s Google Analytics data. The referral traffic is not actually lifehacker.com. It’s a domain name that replaces the K in lifehacker.com with a special “ĸ” figure in order to make it look like the real website. A Russian referrer spammer named Vitaly recently began to spam a few legitimate and legitimate-looking domain names across Google Analytics accounts around the globe and lifehacĸer.com is one of them. Other legitimate domain names that this spammer spammed include reddit.comabc.xyz, thenextweb.comaddons.mozilla.org, and many more. The reason why this spammer is spamming your Google Analytics data with lifehacĸer.com referral traffic and referral traffic from other legitimate websites is to get your attention and persuade you to visit the associated URLs in your web browser.

lifehacĸer.com referral spam

Associated URLs

http://lifehacĸer.com/new-revolutionary-shell-from-lifehacĸer.com/
http://o-o-8-o-o.com/

lifehacĸer

This spammer has been referrer spamming various browser add-ons and websites for quite some time and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. The downside to this is that it can ruin your Google Analytics data and make it hard to monitor your appropriate information. The traffic acquired from referrer spam can affect most of the data in your GA reports. For example, the referrals will appear to land on a single webpage on your website and leave from the same website and this will create a 100% bounce rate. If your website is targeted by referrer spammers you may not be able to identify your website’s actual bounce rate unless you filter the traffic out.

Although referrer spam can ruin your analytical data it will not harm your website or affect your website’s SEO, including your rank in Google search results pages. This is simply spam that wants to get your attention.

The spammer will utilize various tactics in order to make it look like your website received referral traffic from lifehacĸer.com even though it really did not. This type of web traffic is a specific type of web traffic known as “ghost traffic.” The spammer essentially sends phantom visitors to your website’s Google Analytics account in order to make it appear as if someone visited your website from the referral URL.

Referrer spammers usually target your website’s data for several reasons:

  • Referrer spammers want to promote a website and want you to visit the webpage or search for it online through Google search engine results pages.
  • Referrer spammers want to boost their rank on Google search engine results pages by creating backlinks. They do this by logging requests into your website’s access log, which is then crawled by Google’s indexing bots and seen as a backlink to the spam site.

Create an Exclude Filter

1. Open your Google Analytics account and go to the Admin tab> Click Filters on the right side in the VIEW section.

2. Click the + ADD FILTER button to create a new exclude filter.

3. Add lifehacĸer.com or something you can easily remember as the Filter Name.

4. Select the Custom Filter Type.

5. In Filter Field, find and select Campaign Source in the list. In the Filter Pattern text box, add lifehacĸer.com and click the blue Save button on the bottom of the webpage. To add multiple URLs to the same filter you can make a Filter Pattern similar to this with a | between each URL: Example.com | Example\.com | lifehacĸer.com

Also See: How to exclude all hits from known bots and spiders in Google Analytics (Bot Filtering)

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. You write in this article: “They do this by logging requests into your website’s access log, which is then crawled by Google’s indexing bots and seen as a backlink to the spam site.” How do I prevent them from doing this? By writing that htaccess code I’ve been seeing here in the comments? Also, I’d love to kick Vitaly’s a$$. Tell him that when you see him.

  2. The issue is that the same spammer is constantly changing the referral source name. For a while it was “vice.motherboard.com” and now it’s “Twitter”. Keeping up to date with this spammer is really annoying. I see that he’s mainly spamming from 2 locations in Russia: Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

    Can anybody tell me if he’s spamming Google Analytics directly? Or does he have to load a web page on the site he wants to spam?

  3. I was happy to see my traffic is increasing but then I got your information. Seriously It’s so messy.
    thank you for your great help. I appreciate.

  4. Thanks a lot! Just started a new website and it was showing 400+ visits! then I realized they were all from Russia and i knew something was wrong!

  5. I really appreciate this, i was initially happy to see the traffic.. Lol and i thought it was coming from the original lifehacker, but then when it had no effect on my adsense (both pageiews and revenue), i knew something was wrong. This post helped, 100%! Keep it up man!

  6. and now i see from reddit that seem to be spam the location is from Moscow and Saint Petersburg
    Imust to add and the reddit.com on exclude filter?
    thank you

  7. Same with me, I am getting from all these sites thenextweb.com | abc.xyz | addons.mozilla.org | 81193035-1.compliance-brian.xyz | 81193035-1.compliance-don.xyz | buketeg.xyz | lifehacĸer.com | bukleteg.xyz | brateg.xyz

  8. Thanks for this article, my website is suddenly getting a lot of traffic from lifehacker. But, now that spam traffic can be put to rest using this article.

  9. Thanks for this tips. When I noticed this site I was very happy hoping the one of my articles got caught by Lifehacker not knowing it was a spam. But thanks to this article and I will be able to monitor my traffic now and put my mind off increase in bounce rate.

  10. Code for htaccess:
    [code]
    RewriteEngine on
    # Options +FollowSymlinks
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} lifehacĸer\.com\/new-revolutionary-shell-from-lifehacĸer.com/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} o-o-8-o-o.com\.com
    RewriteRule .* – [F]
    [/code]

    • Oh, fail on:
      [code]
      RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} o-o-8-o-o.com\.com
      [/code]
      Remplace with them:
      [code]
      RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} o-o-8-o-o\.com
      [/code]

    • I test and prove, finally code:
      [code]
      RewriteEngine on
      # Options +FollowSymlinks
      RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^lifehacĸer\.com
      RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} lifehacĸer\.com\/new-revolutionary-shell-from-lifehacĸer.com/ [NC,OR]
      RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} o-o-8-o-o.com\.com
      RewriteRule .* – [F]
      [/code]

  11. Hey Sean,
    Thank you for the article! I am now taking care of these spams that show up. Lifehacker.com didn’t show up per say, but a few others you’ve listed did: abc.xyz, thenextweb.com, addons.mozilla.org, reddit.com..
    I have added all of these to be excluded in the filter pattern.
    Will GA exclude past present and future entries for these or will it just exclude these spams from the moment I turn on the filter?

    Thanks!
    Victor

  12. Hey, Sean,

    Thank you for this. I have noticed that lifehacĸer.com has been popping up all over my GA.

    I followed your instructions and it seems to be working fine now.

    Kind regards,
    Jason

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